A New Digital Extension Project in Brazil!

Claudia Carbajal Morelos, PxD’s Regional Manager for Latin America, lays out the contours of the project.

We are humbled and thrilled to have been announced as the winners of a tendering process to deliver digital extension services to 100,000 farmers in Brazil’s Northeast Region (NER). The announcement by Brazil’s Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, and Food Supply (MAPA) on the 6th of July marked the conclusion of a rigorous and competitive five-month-long tendering process. 

This was PxD’s first experience navigating a government tender process and will be our first project in Brazil!

Serving 100, 000 farmer users!

Our ambition is to send the first message by mid-January 2022. We will serve 30,000 farmer users in the first year, rising to 100,000 in the second. Our digital extension service will include advisory information on both livestock and crops.

Northeast Region (NER)

Brazil’s NER represents 18 percent of Brazil’s territory and is comprised of nine states: Maranhão, Piauí, Ceará, Rio Grande do Norte, Paraíba, Pernambuco, Alagoas, Sergipe and Bahia. Livestock husbandry is an important component of farming activity – the region is home to over 90 percent of the national goat herd, over 60 percent of Brazil’s sheep herd, and 13 percent of the country’s cattle and swine herds, respectively.

The region was home to 53.6 million people in the 2012 census. While this figure is equivalent to 28 percent of the national population, the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE), assessed the NER as the poorest region in the country and home to nearly half (47.9%) of Brazil’s population living under the poverty line (2018). The share of poverty is substantially lower in the Central-West and South regions, which account for 5.7 and 2.5 percent of Brazil’s population living in poverty.

While national poverty rates decreased in 2020 – primarily a result of public emergency aid and cash transfer programs extended in response to the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic – the number of people living in poverty is expected to rise dramatically in 2021 following the scaling back of temporary assistance measures, poor labor market recovery, and a resurgent COVID-19 case count.

Widespread poverty in NER is complicated by frequent droughts that disproportionately impact rural and farming livelihoods. 

Timeline

The project will run for 22 months. I am excited to activate our in-country team and we are already moving! We have already commenced the scoping component of the project to map the sector and improve our understanding of the region and its challenges. 

Partnerships

The project will be implemented in partnership with the Government of Brazil’s Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, and Food Supply (MAPA) and our regional partners, the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA). The project is being implemented as a Build Operate and Transfer initiative, whereby, at the end of the project’s implementation horizon, we will transfer management and operational responsibilities to our partners at MAPA.